Thai food is a traditionally spicy cuisine, and the chefs at Heng Heng Heng! Thai Noodles want all of their customers to realize that before ordering. On the menu, nine of the nearly two dozen entrees come marked with two or three tiny peppers, denoting that the dish either packs a lot of heat or hates being left out. The boat noodles, for example, stew with beef, flank steak, and spinach inside a housemade spicy chili sauce, and the innocent-sounding chicken with basil teems with extra-hot chili peppers. Diners looking for a subtler flavor have a fair share of options as well, from pad see ew to prawn fried rice.
Summer Summer Thai Eatery provides feasters with an expansive menu of flavor-punching, simplistically modern Thai plates. Begin fully filling an unfilled stomach with starters such as the organic chicken satay—strips of curry-marinated organic chicken charbroiled to smoky consistency—alongside a helping of creamy peanut sauce and crisp cucumber salad ($7.50). The house specialty, the yellow curry Kang Gari Kai, introduces organic chicken to bashful potatoes and carrots, and, like a supportive canasta coach, brings out the best in them with a rich yellow coconut curry sauce ($9.50).
The first thing guests see when they enter My Thai Restaurant is a woman sitting in prayer as water rains down on her, surrounded by foliage. The fountain carving, along with gold- and burgundy-striped walls, infuses the eatery with what the San Rafael Patch dubs a “trendy, modern, and comfortable” atmosphere.
The menu includes both traditional and eclectic dishes, including curries, noodles, fried rice, and barbecue dishes. To contrast orders of panang curry with chicken and barbecue roasted duck, the kitchen also churns out more than a dozen seafood-specific dishes, including the popular "healthy bowl" with grilled salmon, mixed grains, shredded green mango, avocado, pickled ginger, and dried cherries and blueberries.
Rated Best Thai Restaurant by the East Bay Express in 2011, Chai Thai Noodle earns its title with a vast menu of authentically prepared dishes imbued with vibrant flavors and spices. Chai Thai Noodle's masterful and lively preparations have earned the chefs enthusiastic accolades and multiple high-fives from local press; their pork leg stew in particular inspired across-the board ardor. The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness credited owners and chefs Sangchai Vatanachai and Amnouy Manyvong for making "'pork leg stew' three of the most exciting words in the language of Thai food." John Birdsall of the East Bay Express mentioned that it had to rate "among the most satisfying meat dishes in all of East Oakland," and SF Weekly’s Meredith Brody cited the stewed leg, accompanied by pickled vegetables and mustard greens, as her primary motive for dining at Chai Thai Noodle.
The chefs at Siam Bay Authentic Thai craft an extensive menu of Thai specialties, from fried tofu to garlic pork with steamed broccoli. Generous portions, served in classic blue-and-white china bowls can be shared with tablemates or kept to oneself by building a protective fence of chopsticks.
Travel has long helped rejuvenate the mind. Proving that point, Koh Samui & The Monkey's owner's extensive journeys have served as inspiration for a menu that plays with flavors and spices, along with the ideas of traditional and modern. Mieng kum plates a pillar of traditional Thai cuisine with spinach leaves, which act as a wrap for chicken or tofu. Concerning the aromatic pumpkin curry, the San Francisco Chronicle's restaurant critic Michael Bauer praised it in his review, writing that "the pumpkin curry, crushed scallops and fried bananas are exceptional."
The artistry in each dish extends from the recipe to the presentation. Beautiful, colorful dishes first entice the eye as they're presented on crisp white tablecloths, on which candles cast the flickering shadows that keep the dying art of hand-puppet theater alive. The drink menu shakes and stirs with similar creative flair, mixing hip, top-shelf cocktails such as the pineapple-spiked Monkey in Paris.